December 9, 2022

When something or someone gets a nickname, there must be love involved. After all, why go through the efforts of coming up with something creative and catchy for something you don’t like? And that’s why the headline reads “Hands-On With The Full-Metal CasiOak Watches” and not “Hands-On With The Casio G-Shock GM-B2100”; sorry about that, Casio. The three new models, in three colors with a steel case and matching bracelet, must be some of the most anticipated watches of 2022. Let’s see if they can live up to the expectations.

While writing the intro and typing in the word “nickname”, I realized I had no clue where the word comes from. I was pretty sure Nick has nothing to do with it, but that was it. Luckily, there’s the online Brittanica that explains the source of the word nickname very clearly. According to the Brittanica, “the word nickname is derived from the Middle English ekename, literally meaning ‘also-name,’ via nekename.” Think of this fun historical fact the next time you use a term of endearment — because that’s what a nickname is in 99% of the cases — for your fiancée, kid, pet, car, etc. Or when you encounter the first Casio G-Shock GA-21000 from 2019 or the latest GM-B2100 model and your brain immediately produces the nickname “CasiOak”.

Wearing the full-metal CasiOak watch

Yes, CasiOak is a term of endearment that originates from the G-Shock-modding community. When its members got their hands on the GA2100, metal covers were fixed over the original resin case, and bracelets were added to make the ana-digi watch resemble one of the watch world’s true icons, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Modders made it possible to wear a Royal Oak for G-Shock money — you have to squint a little bit, but still.

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But the nickname CasiOak is also a practical moniker. A Casio G-Shock just never has a nice name, now does it? I, for one, can’t remember them since I’m kind of number-blind — please don’t ever invite me to a game of G-Shock, Patek Philippe, or Grand Seiko name bingo. I struggle to remember the official name GM-B2100, but I have no problem with non-digital names such as CasiOak. And since I’m not the only number-blind watch fan, the nickname must also have been born out of pure practicality.

Full-Metal CasiOak Watch

Modders out-modded

Time to get practical now. How do the three GM-B2100 wear and feel in reality? Well, the full-metal attire says “CasiOak” louder and clearer than ever — find out about models in resin and the metal version on a resin strap right here. The steel case and bracelet elevate the edgy shape to a level watch modders could never reach. Because the watch has so many sharp lines, edges, and tilted surfaces, having it in well-finished steel instead of a non-alloy adds a lot of luster. If you’re not into a shiny watch, stay away from any of the three GM-B2100 iterations. But if you think it’s your time to shine, any of the three new all-metal G-Shocks should be on your wish list. There’s a shiny steel version, a black ion-plated one, and a very flashy, also ion-plated version in a pink gold color to choose from.

Full-Metal CasiOak Watch

165 grams of solid and functional luxury

By matching a metal bracelet with a folding clasp to the 44.4 × 49.8 × 12.8mm case, the GM-B2100 models upgrade to a more solid, luxurious, and high-end look. It’s 165 grams of practical luxury, I would say. Practical in terms of pricing — the steel-colored GM-B2100D-1A has a price of €550 / US$550, and the black GM-B2100BD-1A and rose gold colored GM-B2100GD-1A each cost €600 / US$600 — and in functionality. Since the GM-B2100 has a screwed case back, the watch is water resistant to 200 meters. And then there are the multiple functions you expect and get from a high-tech G-Shock. There’s stuff like Tough Solar charging and a Bluetooth Smartphone Link function for automatic time adjustment. There are also 38 cities in different time zones at your disposal, and if you misplace your phone, the watch will help you recover it.

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Full-Metal CasiOak Watch

Three metal styles to choose from

Yet, no matter how functional the three GM-B2100 CasiOaks are, in the end, it’s all about the looks if you ask me. And the watches don’t disappoint in that department. At first, I thought I would prefer the most normal-looking one — that would be the “plain” steel version. But after trying on all three, I prefer the rose-gold-colored version the best. The warm, pinkish hue is nice and rich, and the contrast with the black/negative display creates the visual tension I prefer. The black one just is a bit too black for my taste.

But what all three GM-B2100 CasiOak watches have in common is a three-step surface-finishing process, which consists of high polishing and both circular and vertical brushing to create a vibrant visual watch spectacle. And if you want more spectacle, just hit the Super Illuminator button that turns on the double-LED lights.

Details, details

The GM-B2100 CasiOaks are rugged creatures. As you would expect from a G-Shock, the watches have buffering components made of fine resin between the stainless-steel bezel and case to protect the solar-powered module from shocks. But no matter how sturdy the watches are, the finishing is quite delicate. On all three, the octagonal bezel shines with an attractive circular hairline finish on its top surface. And the nicely detailed bracelet also received a good-looking finish, not to mention, it wears nice too. Once it’s sized, the bracelet fits flexibly around the wrist where it keeps the case nice and steady.

But you have to prepare yourself mentally because, with the steel and rose-gold-colored models, you will present yourself in a very blingy way. And even though the black version is the most sinister one, because of its size, it won’t fly under the radar. And that is a bit of a contradiction, because the shape of the GM-B2100BD-1A reminds me a lot of the F-117 Nighthawk, the retired stealth plane developed by Lockheed’s secretive Skunk Works division.

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Full-Metal CasiOak

The full-metal CasiOak watch — My final thoughts

I will keep the conclusion short and sweet if you don’t mind. That’s because you either like or dislike the basic, chunky shape of the CasiOak. You get it or you don’t. And I like that in a watch. I like a controversial personality and a look that doesn’t try too hard to be a crowd pleaser. But if the shape speaks to you, and if the all-metal GM-B2100 fits in your budget, the CasiOak is a most remarkable watch. Its finishing belongs in a higher price bracket. And because of the use of steel, it also has the looks to take on watches that have a much higher price. The fact that traditional analog hands dominate the dial and not the digital aspect is a big plus when competing with other watches. After all, you want to be different, but sometimes you also need some reassuring visual anchor points.

The three new full-steel versions of the GM-B2100 have that elusive X factor, that special shine to make them desirable objects. The new GM-B2100 platform certainly delivers and does more justice to the CasiOak nickname than ever.

Find out more about the full-metal Casio G-Shock GM-B2100 CasiOak on the brand’s official website.

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